Okay, I know it will probably never happen, but… Continue reading
Category Archives: BYU
A commenter on another post said “To think that a couple years ago I envisioned myself wanting to work in the BYU Religious Department. For some reason however, I see myself more and more hoping to never do so. Hopefully smb is right and this will pass with the next generation.” I’m not picking on him, it’s a common enough sentiment, but he reminded me of this. Continue reading
This is part II of a post begun a week and a half ago in response to a devotional lecture given by Terry Ball, dean of the BYU college of religious education. That discussion centered on what I argued to be the problematic connection Ball makes between the pre-existence, Isaiah 28, and mortality. This post focuses on the scriptural aspects of his argument. Continue reading
Last week Terry Ball, Dean of the College of Religious Education, gave BYU’s weekly devotional address (mp3 file available here, Daily Universe report here). His talk raises many issues relevant to recent discussions here and elsewhere. My reaction to his talk will be divided into two posts: first, a discussion of some of the problematic themes that Ball raises, and second, an analysis of the way this Professor of Ancient Scripture handles scripture. Continue reading
This upcoming conference at Yale is the same weekend as the conference on Mormonism and Politics at Princeton. It looks like there are going to be some interesting papers, but it is unclear exactly if any of them are going to be more than historical recitations. If you are in the area, please go and let us know how it was!
The only question is why this conference is being held at Yale. All but one of the presenters is BYU faculty (Richard Lambert is a US attorney in Utah who runs the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation). Further, there is only a small LDS population in New Haven. Why fly out 8 people to speak to 8 other people?
Any teacher worth their salt as a teacher desires constructive feedback. Students desire to leave feedback, often anonymously, especially if it’s negative. From early personal experience, I know it’s hard to get sincere and thoughtful feedback when spontaneously asking the question face-to-face. Thus was RateMyProfessor.com born, in which students can rate their professors on a variety of characteristics and provide a brief description.
Assuming one can get an accurate enough perspective to be useful in decision making, would a similar site be appropriate for Institute or Gospel Doctrine teachers, in which prospective students at a University or prospective members of a ward could take the measure of a teacher ahead of time? Why or why not? How would it be different from the informal ward shopping LDS inevitably do when moving?
The latest issue of the FARMS Review offers useful insight into the past, present, and possible futures of FARMS. The issue (19/1) is a hodgepodge of topics, themes, and approaches. It addresses ancient scripture, Mormon history, debates with evangelicals, tributes to a recently deceased Mormon historian, reflections on a Joseph Smith biography, an essay on Mormon studies, book reviews, a lecture by Terryl Givens, and a BYU lecture on theology by Jim Faulconer. The FARMS Review is, indeed, a many-sided thing.
As an amateur, I am not really eligible for this, but in speaking to some friends of mine going through the process, I must say that I find the BYU Religion hiring process to be really weird, and a bit insulting. Perhaps some of you who are going through it/have gone through it can illuminate me on the ins and outs. What is mostly disturbing about the hiring process is that it seems incredibly ad hoc and much more demanding on grad students time and resources than any other job application.
Anyone interested in the state of Biblical Studies in North America should read this article:
The Chronicle: 11/10/2006: What’s Wrong With the Society of Biblical Literature?
It raises a lot of important questions about the kind of pedantic scholarship that biblical studies has cultivated. Clearly lay people are bored to tears by most of what biblical studies produces. It has carefully avoided anything interesting or truly controversal since the mid-ninetes. But what interests me is the critique that it has for religious education like that at BYU. Should the SBL intervene in BYU’s biblical studies classes to make sure that they are taught by professionals? Should they lean on BYU to insist that more “secularly” trained scholars be hired by the faculty? If the SBL had to produce a scorecard for BYU, how would it do? Finally, is this article right to emphasize the need for “secular” biblical studies at universities across the country?
UPDATE: One of the main NT blogs has some interesting reactions here.